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Give yourself a cheeky lift
"Walking, running, tennis and badminton are great sports for exercising the muscles of the bottom at the same time as burning fat."
Saggy bottom? No bottom? Flat as a pancake bottom? Follow these great exercises to lift, tone and tighten this area.
Personal trainer Caroline Sandry gives us her tips on how to tone up our derriere...
The bottom line
The bottom is made up of the gluteus muscles, the gluteus maximus being one of the largest muscles in the body responsible for helping us stand up from a seated position. Walking, running, tennis and badminton are great sports for exercising the muscles of the bottom at the same time as burning fat and improving cardiovascular fitness.
These ultimate butt lifters can be performed any time, any place, anywhere:
- The Reverse Lunge - Stand a stride's length in front of a chair, feet and knees hip width apart. Place your left foot on top of the chair so you are standing on the right leg. Keep abdominal muscles pulled in tight as you slowly lower your hips down towards the floor. Hands on hips or out for balance. At lowest position your right knee should be over your right ankle, in line with second toe. Use your bottom muscles to push back up to start position. Repeat 12 times on each leg.
- The Chair Squat - Stand in front of the chair, feet hip width apart. Keep tummy tight as you lower yourself as if to sit on the chair. Just before you touch the chair, and with your knees over your ankles in line with the second toe, use bottom and thighs to push yourself back to standing. Build up to 20 repetitions.
- Donkey Kicks - Kneel on elbows and knees, elbows under shoulders and hands clasped together, knees hip width apart. Keep tummy tight and spine straight. Raise one foot towards ceiling and, with knee bent at a right angle, squeeze bottom and press foot up to ceiling 12 times. Repeat on other leg.
- Bridge - Lie on your back with your knees bent and hip width apart, feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your bottom to lift your hips towards the ceiling until your body forms a straight line from knee to hip to shoulder. Repeat 10 times.
- Advanced Bridge - Follow above steps to bridge position, then keeping hips level and body in a straight line, lift and straighten one leg and lower 10 times. Keep squeezing your bottom to hold your hips in line. Return to start position before repeating on the other side.
- Swimming - Lie face down on the floor, hands making a pillow for the head, legs shoulder width apart. Point your toes outwards, and roll your thighs inwards to connect the muscles of the bottom. Lengthen and lift the legs until they are just hovering off the floor. Keeping knees straight, kick the legs slowly as if swimming, alternating legs. Perform at least 20 kicks.
- Wall Squat - Stand in front of a wall facing away from the wall, feet hip width apart. Lean your back onto the wall, and slowly lower your body down towards the floor, shuffling your feet forwards until you are in a sitting position, ensuring the knees are above the ankle and in line with the second toe. Keep the tummy pulled in and a straight spine. Slowly push yourself back up to standing and slowly lower down again up to 5 times.
- Body Lift on Chair - Lie on your back with your heels up on a chair, hands behind your head. Knees should be bent to a right angle. Squeeze bottom to lift hips up slowly until your body is in a straight line from knee to hip to chest. Lower the hips slightly and lift again squeezing your bottom and performing 15-20 thrusts.
- Standing Leg Circles - Stand facing a wall hands on the wall and tummy pulled in. Lift one leg behind you keeping hips facing forward, and circle leg around 8 times in each direction. Repeat on other leg.
- Walking Lunge - Stand with feet hip width apart, hands on hips. Take a large step forward as you lower your body down until your front knee is above the ankle, in line with the second toe. Pause for 1 second and raise yourself up as you step forward onto the other leg, repeating the lunge. Perform up to 10 slow lunges on each leg.
These exercises are specifically targeted at the bottom, but also use many other muscle of the lower body. As you lift and sculpt your bottom, you should also notice firmer more toned thighs as a bonus!
Try to perform the exercises at least three times per week, choosing a minimum of five from the above - and always stretch out the muscles you have worked afterwards.
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